How to Have a Staycation – And What Exactly is it?

How many of you have ever wanted to travel, but didn’t have the time or means necessary? I think we probably all have at one time or another in our lives. That’s when a staycation comes into play. It’s exactly what it sounds like. You stay at home but still take a “vacation” from your life.

It can be harder and harder in this day and age to get time off work, even to spend with family. And money is tighter than ever. So you may ask: how to have a staycation. Staycations are affordable and you can just take the weekend. Or even just a single day.

Here’s a look into some great staycation ideas:

If You’re Single

Staycationing while single is the best, you don’t even have to leave your house. You still can if you’d like, if you want a change of scenery. Try a small hotel or an airbnb. They’re usually pretty inexpensive. Here are some great ideas for those single folks looking to have a staycation:

  1. Go somewhere you’ve never been before. I guarantee there is a restaurant or attraction or local shop that you’ve never stepped foot into. Maybe even one you’ve been thinking about checking out. Now’s your time. Go do it.
  2. Have a stay at home movie marathon. Turn down the lights, or shut the blinds. Pop some popcorn, get some candy, and watch all your favorites back-to-back.
  3. Treat yourself to a spa day. You don’t even have to go to a real spa. Although, finding one that comes with an all-inclusive affordable package is a great way to spend your staycation. If you don’t want to spend the money, take a long hot bath with your favorite bubble bath and bath salts. Paint your nails. And just lay in bed or on the couch in peace and quiet listening to soft relaxing music. You’ll mistake your house for the spa.
  4. Research your area’s most visited places, and go there. Act like you’ve never seen the town before. Pretend it’s all new. You’ll probably find something you’ve missed before. Opening your eyes to new experiences at old places can be fun.
  5. Work on your hobby. If you like to read, put a dent into that TBR pile. If you like to cook, experiment in the kitchen. It doesn’t matter what the hobby is. If it’s something you like, take the time to really enjoy it on your staycation.

If You Have a Significant Other

  1. If you have kids, pass them off to grandma and grandpa for the weekend. (If you want to staycate with your kids, head to the next section). Stay at an airbnb. If you stay at your home, you’re just going to want to clean the house, and you’ll notice everything that needs to be done before Monday comes back around. It will not be relaxing.
  2. If the weather permits, go on a hike or go geocaching (a really cool GPS based scavenger hunt). Connecting with nature is a great way to relax and just be present.
  3. Instead of the money at a fancy restaurant, try having a picnic. Almost every area has a local park you can picnic in.
  4. Consider ditching the electronics. Focus on each other instead of on your phones. Unplugging is a great way to reconnect with your significant other.
  5. Try touring your city as if you’ve never seen it. What is everyone else doing? Where are the crowds? Check out things that are local. Mom and pop shops, antique stores, etc. Stuff you won’t find anywhere else. You don’t have to buy anything, but if the feeling strikes, you’ve saved so much money staycationing, it probably won’t hurt the wallet.

If You have Kids

  1. Camp out in your backyard! The kids will love it. Get a tent, or if it’s summer and no plans for rain, just toss out some sleeping bags. Star gazing, roasting smores over a campfire, etc. Make it a whole big thing. And it’s free!
  2. Take them to museums. It’s pretty easy to find a museum geared towards kids, or even one that just has a kids exhibit. You can still have fun, while learning something new.
  3. Let everyone pick one thing they’d like to do for the day, or weekend, or week. However long your staycation is lasting. Then do them. As long as they’re not completely undoable, make it happen. That way everyone at least is doing one thing they enjoy and everyone feels included in the planning.
  4. Research free things to do in you city. You’ll probably find quite a lot that the whole family can enjoy. Find playgrounds or visit a local park. If it’s the colder months visit a library or an indoor rec center.
  5. Have an indoor slumber party. The whole family can gather in the living room. Watch movie, play games, eat junk food. For one night, it’ll be okay to indulge and let the kids indulge. Try to keep it a cell phone, tablet, computer free night.

3 Tips for Planning a Staycation

  1. Budget ahead of time. Figure out exactly what you can spend. And don’t spend anymore than what you can afford. This way you can plan around exactly what you have to spend.
  2. Have fun! Don’t make it stressful. If you start trying to plan too much it becomes stressful, change course. There are no rules. If something doesn’t make you feel joy, stop doing it, and do something else.
  3. Don’t do work. If you’re staying at home, put the chores on hold. The dishes and the laundry will get done, just not right now. Or, if you’re planning this staycation ahead of time, plan on having all the chores to be done before you start the staycation.

Staycate Away!

It’s time to get started on that staycation!

Whether you use these ideas to plan your own staycation, or they inspire your own ideas… I hope this will help you make the most of it.

Just because you’re not leaving the area does not mean you can’t consider a staycation “traveling” if you visit new places. Generally, yes, travel means distances, but it really can just mean going somewhere new. Don’t let anyone tell you having a staycation is any less real than going somewhere for a vacation.

Tell me about your staycations in the comments below. Or, if you have any tips or suggestions for staycation planning.

4 thoughts on “How to Have a Staycation – And What Exactly is it?”

  1. Some great ideas here. I think the planning and budgeting tips are the best as this is where I go wrong and end up just dong chores. I will definitely give this a go there are some great places that we haven’t seen locally. Thank you

  2. I found your post very enjoyable to read. Some very good ideas here just to forget life’s stresses and relax and unwind for a few hours or the whole day. I find Virtual Reality a good way of having a staycation as you can visit places all over the world and see things that you will probably never ever see in the world all in the comfort of your own home.
    Thanks for your post. Adrian

  3. I actually really like staycations because when you go out of town, you tend to plan more things. You had a great point about having a picnic as opposed to going out to eat. Every state has great state parks or local parks to visit where you can have an excellent picnic at no charge! I’ve done this with my family a few times and they appreciate it much more than just going to a typical restaurant.


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